- Why does Local Listing Ads offer a free trial? What’s the catch?
- Who qualifies for Local Listing Ads?
- What’s the difference between Local Listing Ads and Google AdWords?
- How much do Local Listing Ads cost?
- What are Local Listing Ads? Why should I use them?
Here are the benefits bullets of LLAs:
- Ads shown on Google.com and Google Maps
- A flat monthly fee based on your location and business category
- First 30 days free
- No bid or keyword management
- Free call-tracking, announcing each forwarded customer call (‘This caller brought to you by Google’)
- Full report on the number of calls, clicks to your ad, requests for driving directions, and clicks to your info window on Google Maps
- The option to cancel your ad at any time
Here’s a discussion (from the link above) of the differences between LLAs and AdWords:
Google Local Listing Ads are designed for small local businesses. It’s a low budget, low maintenance, flat monthly fee ad solution that fits the tight spending and busy schedule of local small advertisers. By claiming or creating your business listing for free on Google Maps through Google Local Business Center (learn more), you can promote your listing on Google.com and Google Maps by creating Local Listing Ads.
Unlike Google AdWords, Local Listing Ads require no management of ad creative, keywords, bidding or budget management. After you select a standard category that best describes your business, Google determines the cost that ensures the ad is seen by the highest number of people looking for businesses like yours in your location. You will be given the chance to confirm the monthly flat fee that is unlikely to change frequently or be notified of the change 30 days in advance via email and your LBC account message.
In addition to providing full performance report on Local Listing Ads-driven calls, clicks, and requests for driving directions, Local Listing Ads also offers free call tracking with a short announcement (‘this caller brought to you by Google’) before each forwarded call. That way, you know precisely when and how often the ad makes your phone ring.
Mike also offers some interesting dashboard shots from one of the LLA advertisers (an SF atty) he contacted.
All of this beefing up of help pages and FAQs is in anticipation of a broader rollout at some point in the next couple of months I’ll guess. It appears that you’re not going to be able to get access to LLAs if you’re not associated with a verified business in the LBC.
I think that as LLAs roll out we’re going to have an answer to the self-service question. Because if there’s any product that could attract self-serving SMBs it’s going to be this one — provided Google promotes and supports it of course.